DIVALICIOUS INTERVIEW! Changing Faces’ Cassandra Lucas Is Back On The Music SceneBy Justin Mendez | February 18, 2019 | Entertainment
As part of the critically and commercially successful 90ΓÇÖs R&B group Changing Faces, Cassandra Lucas created sonic masterpieces that helped shape the musical landscape of the time. Now, two decades later, Lucas is back as a solo artist and just as passionate about her craft as she was during the start of her career. In this interview, she gives us her insight on the ever-changing music industry, streaming and why now is the perfect time for her to release her hotly anticipated debut album. She also delves into her thoughts on R.Kelly and who her dream collaborator would be.
What inspired you to make new music?
You know, itΓÇÖs something IΓÇÖve been wanting to do for a while. It was about 2013┬áwhen I dipped my toes in the water and released a single with the intent of releasing an album. But I didnΓÇÖt complete because I had my hands in so many things. But now, I feel like R&B is being incorporated into mainstream music. ItΓÇÖs always in me to do things, itΓÇÖs just about the stars lining up to make it happen.
What music do you listen to while you’re making music, or what music influences your sound?
I’m crazy with this, you know. My mixtape or playlist so to speak would be country, R&B, dance, or I could have Diplo or Calvin Harris, and then I can have Pharrell [Williams]. Music just inspires me, the genre doesnΓÇÖt matter to me. It could be from Cardi B to Biggie. I listen to just about everything. You need to listen to everything because it feeds your soul.
Out of all the songs that you recorded as a member of Changing Faces and solo, whatΓÇÖs your favorite?
That’s hard. You know, it depends on how I feel that day. It might not even be the biggest hits. It might be an album cut like “Good Thing” or “Thoughts Of You” from the first Changing Faces album. Or we could go to my new stuff and IΓÇÖd say something like “Give Love A Chance.” I pretty much love everything but everyday something will stick out.
If you could describe your music in three words, what would they be?
To me: exciting, refreshing, soulful and loving. How about that? I could give you four!
┬áWhat advice you have to give to younger artists that are just starting music careers?
I guess itΓÇÖs just as simple as this: keep at it. If itΓÇÖs within you, eat, sleep and breathe it. You have to keep at it because thatΓÇÖs what’s going to keep you going. As someoneΓÇÖs who has been in the industry for 20 years, you have to love it. Anything you love takes time to work, so this will be constant work from the beginning. For every “no,” there will be five “yeses” down the road. LetΓÇÖs those noes be the fuel to keep at it.
What is the biggest difference between making music in the nineties versus now?
The internet. Everything is right at your fingertips, so itΓÇÖs a great thing, but it can also be a bad thing. But it’s also┬ágreat on an independent level to do what you want, put out what you want, make what you want and do it your way. You donΓÇÖt have to ask a record label if itΓÇÖs okay or have five or ten people vote on it. So, you know, that would be the biggest difference.
To add on to that, what do you think about like streaming services and listening to music for free instead of having to buy it like back in the nineties?
For me, as an artist, it really does hurt our pockets. To me, I think music is a prominent force in my life. I donΓÇÖt really know what IΓÇÖd do without it. I just feel like free streaming is downplaying, or shortchanging, the creativity of an artist. You know, we can brighten somebody’s day by listening to our music, or sob with you through a song or whatever. ItΓÇÖs like a piece of artwork. It can be recycled on the internet, and yes that’s fine, but if you buy that original artwork youΓÇÖre going to pay a lot of money for it. Artist gets hurt really bad from it. I know it’s the new wave and I have to kind of ride it but you know, it makes it hard for us to make money that way and it just focuses more on live shows, and that’s the artists have to try to live now. I just feel like it downplays the work put into it and the effect that music has on peopleΓÇÖs lives.
What current artists would you collaborate with if you had the chance?
There are the notables like Ne-Yo, P!nk, Usher. But I kind of like the new pack like Bruno Mars, Daniel Caesar┬áand┬áKevin Ross. H.E.R. is fantastic. The young ones like Ella Mai and SZA are coming with their own thing, from Chance The Rapper to Kendrick Lamar. I love the elements theyΓÇÖre bringing so IΓÇÖm open, IΓÇÖm game, you never know. Sometimes you think a collaboration between two people wouldnΓÇÖt work, but itΓÇÖs interesting to see how to creative forces come together.
Speaking of collaborations, a lot of your early work was collaborated with R. Kelly and now with the Surviving R. Kelly documentary that’s been released how does that make you feel? What was your experience working with him?
Nothing like that Lifetime documentary. My mouth was to the floor. Our experience was absolutely great. For our first album, our record label asked to write down a wishlist of producers and writers we wanted to work with, and R. Kelly happened to be one of them. We made hits with him like “Stroke You Up” and “G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T.” So it was horrible to see, and I hope everyone gets the help that they need.
What is your beauty secret or regiment?
IΓÇÖm kind of old school in terms of beauty. IΓÇÖm really into moisturizing. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. You should always have some type of serum on your face thatΓÇÖs working when youΓÇÖre not. When youΓÇÖre sleeping at night you should have something thatΓÇÖs helping you restore yourself. I switch up a lot. I use Est├⌐e Lauder serum at night. I also like collagen protein,┬álike if you put in your coffee and it helps with your skin, hair and nails. But moisturizing would be my biggest beauty tip. Moisturize over your whole body.
Who would you say is pushing the music industry forward?
Just one person?
Yeah, one person.
You canΓÇÖt say just one. Beyonc├⌐ if she’s coming, you know itΓÇÖs with something unexpected. Then Childish Gambino, is doing something really different, you know what I mean? So itΓÇÖs hard to pick one, we need everybody. We need different lanes so we can get all the good stuff. If it’s just one person then, what happens in the industry is that when you just narrow it down to one person, everybody wants to be that person and then we just have a whole bunch of one person. Yeah, we need everybody. So it’s hard to say one person because I think as long as we have to differentiate the different people it helps even our younger ones coming up to create some magic when you have too much of a thing, that’s when itΓÇÖs a problem.
When is your album coming out?
At the end of February. ItΓÇÖs called Long Way Home. IΓÇÖm super excited because itΓÇÖs finally done. ItΓÇÖs been a long time which itΓÇÖs why itΓÇÖs called Long Way Home, and IΓÇÖm finally back to my first love which is music.